Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 34(2) June 2021 : 12-15.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2021.26537
Special Focus on Nursing Leadership and the Mental Health of Nurses

Nursing Leadership Has an Important Role in the Management of Nurses’ Mental Health

Andrea M. Stelnicki and R. Nicholas Carleton

Canadian nurses have higher rates of mental disorder symptoms, suicidal behaviour and burnout than the general Canadian population. Exposure to potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTEs), such as severe human suffering, life-threatening illness or injury and physical assault, can partially explain the decrease in nurses' well-being; however, nurses will continue to regularly face PPTEs as long as they remain in their career. Recent research suggests that operational stressors (e.g., shift work) and organizational stressors (e.g., staff shortages) can also contribute to significant mental health problems. Systemic change is needed to lessen or eliminate the impact of these modifiable stressors. Nursing leadership should advocate for change and solutions to support the mental health of front-line nurses.



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